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Tony Blair 7, U.s. 7, Bbc News 6, Russia 5, New York 4, Mr. Blair 4, Saddam Hussein 3, Iraq 3, Moscow 3, Soviet Union 2, Honolulu 2, John D. 2, Catherine T. Macarthur 2, Vermont 2, Newman 2, Damascus 2, Us 2, Stowe 2, Haiti 2, Israel 2,
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  WHUT    BBC World News    News/Business.  
   International issues. (CC)  

    January 29, 2010
    6:30 - 7:00pm EST  

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>> "bbc world news" is presented by kcet, los angeles. funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. the newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank.
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>> union bank has put its financial strength to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> and now "bbc world news." >> "i would do it again." tony blair gives evidence at the iraq inquiry. >> it was better to deal with this threat, to remove him from office, and i do genuinely believe the world a safer as a result. >> in iraq, it is everyday life that is important. ongoing violence and instability, and elections due in march. back with a bang. america's economy is growing at its fastest rate in six years. welcome to "bbc world news,"
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broadcasting around the globe. the haitian government says it desperately needs to hundred thousand tents to house refugees. meet the first warplanes developed by russia since the collapse of the soviet union. he called it "the calculus of risk." tonylair gave evidence to the iraq inquiry today during six hours of questioning. he went from slightly nervous to unrepentant toobust with his reasoning and belief behind the decision to go to war in iraq. he said he has no regrets about removing saddam hussein. he hinted at the possibility of
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a new war with iran. our correspondent was at the inquiry. >> he arrived in the half light of dawn to the sound of a single bell tolling. his convoy headed to the basement. he slipped in through a side door. it was a low-key start to a highly charged a day. in the streets around the conference center were protesters, not as many as predicted, a couple of hundred it most. the verdict on tony blair has already been decided. at 9:30 sharp, the session began. mr. blair took his place and looked pensive. >> i would like to start by welcoming our witness. >> many people wanted answers. it was reminded to everyone that this was not a trial. although -- the iraq inquiry
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began questioning. they went to the event that changed everything, 9/11. tony blair was soon in his stride. >> soon after september 11 is that the calculus of risk changed. >> that meant someone like saddam hussein with his history of defiance over weapons of mass destruction had to be confronted. >> the primary consideration was to send an absolutely powerful, clear, and unremitting message that after september 11, if you worry regime engaged in wmd, you had to stop. >> he denied he had signed in blood with george bush in april, 2002, to invade iraq. he did say he wanted britain to be alongside americans. >> i said we would stand with them. we did in afghanistan and i was determined to do that again.
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>> on the iraq dossier of september, 2002, mr. blair defended his statement that he believed beyond doubt that iraq had weapons of mass destruction. >> i did believe it. i did believe it beyond doubt. >> he was satisfied that the invasion was lawful. he believed contrary views had been heard. he believed britain had proper plans for the aftermath. mr. blair believed he did the right thing. >> this is not about a lot or a deceit or deception. it is a decision. >> he said he would take the same action again. >> i had to take this action as prime minister. it was a huge responsibility then and there is not a single day when i do not think about that responsibility. i have no regret. responsibility, but not its regret for losing saddam hussein. i think he was --
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>> be quiet, please. >> i think he was a monster. i believe he threatened not just the region, but the world. i think even if you look back now, it was better to deal with this threat, to remove him from office, and i do genuinely believe that the world a safer as a result. >> he spent more than six hours at the witness table. anyone hoping for a grilling would have been disappointed. it was, at times, a passionate defense by tony blair on his decisions about iraq. bbc news. >> mr. blair today described the former iraqi leader saddam hussein as a monster. without him, he later told the inquiry, the people of iraq have a chance of a better future. we are the only british broadcast with a permanent
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broadcast in iraq since the invasion. our correspondent in baghdad assesses just how secure and better off iraqis feel today. >> on this friday evening, most people are simply getting on with life, either oblivious or not really caring about the grilling that tony blair has been getting at the hands of the inquiry. the whole affair has had little coverage in the iraqi press and the few articles that there have been have tended to call it a british affair. this editorial here in yesterday's newspaper, questioning the timing of it in the run-up to the general election, seeing it as taking place within a british political bubble. iraqis have a host of problems they deal with daily, from continued violence, to poor services, and intermittent electricity deprivation. this inquiry is not going to help overcome those problems.
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>> we need to look forward, not backward, this man told me. we should stop arguing about whether the invasion was right or wrong. as for the owner of the store, he said the invasion has only brought iraq grief, with high unemployment and poor basic services. >> there are those who agree with tony blair, that there have been positive effects from the invasion. there has been an explosion in the availability of consumer goods, mobile phones, televisions, refrigerators, and the like. there is the question of frdom of speech. people are happy to talk about their political preferences. on march 7, people are putting hope into that election and hoping it will bring stability,
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if it can be carried out peacefully. as far as politicians are concerned, there will be looking at not so much the circumstances surrounding the decision to go to war in this inquiry, but the question of legality. the inquiry could throw that into doubt and some here fear that could provide fuel for the insurgency. the situation has gotten better, but it is costing hundreds of lives every month. bbc news live baghdad. >> more top stories for you. the man who admitted killing an abortion doctor in the u.s. has been found guilty of first- degree murder. scott roeder said he killed dr. george tiller in may last year to protect unborn children. prosecutors are calling for a sentence of 50 years behind bars. at least 12 people have been killed in the somali capital during heavy fighting. the district is controlled by the government and african union peacekeepers were there for
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several hours. the president celebrated his first year in office there. the to the aging president in sri lanka. the street where the office of the president is located has been closed off. the president refused to except his defeat in the election to his opponent. the u.s. economy grew at its fastest rate in six years in the last quarter of 2009. president obama says that figure marked ace -- marked an improvement over the decline america experienced one year ago. he noted that job growth is still lagging. our correspondent reports from new york. >> president obama on the factory floor in baltimore, buoyed by some good economic news. the u.s. economy is growing faster than expected. >> today, we have stopped the
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flood of job losses. we have stabilized the financial system. we can safely say we have avoided that looming depression. this morning, we received a report that a firm's progress. -- that affirms progress. >> the recession meant overall gdp last year contracted by 2.4%, the worst performance since 1946. the second half of the year saw a rebound, as we now know, in the last three months. the u.s. economy grew at an annual rate of 5.7%. that was thanks to businesses buying more stock from companies like this one. this company makes bulk packaging for brands. is woman sees things improving. >> we are hiring more people.
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i think our part of manufacturing is perhaps starting to see some growth. we are starting to see that the plants are busier. >> there are still struggling consumers that are spending as little as possible. history shows us that could be an upside. >> unemployment is a bit of a director of the recovery, but not as much as is commonly perceived. unemployment is always high after deep recessions. in every -- following every deep recession, we have always had strong recoveries. >> the u.s. economy does seem to be on the right track, but it is worth noting one longer worry. the economic boom brought fewer jobs and less well off than any previous upswing. this recovery needs to do better. bbc news in new york. >> the haitian government says it is desperately in need of
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200,000 tents to house refugees from the massive earthquake. 17 days on, the majority of people do not have proper coverage. the rainy season is approaching and the races on to get 1 million people under cover. from port-au-prince, our correspondent reports. >> hope can come in all shapes and sizes, even in a green box. after 17 days of misery, finally there is something to laugh about in haiti. in a few days, 3000 refugees will start moving in here. it is the first proper camp to be finished since the earthquake. there will be latrines and proper showers. the camp is a tiny fraction of what is needed. right now, there are not enough of these tents in the world to house all of the refugees. >> we are talking about huge numbers of tents. they are not widely available. we would like to have as many as possible. the government is set on having
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as many as we can to get it over people's heads. >> the tense do not exist immediately. >> they are not there. >> confusion reigns out of the government compound. the man in charge of building the tent cities tells me construction is under way. where is the location? >> it is in guadalupe. we have water. >> we have driven about half an hour outside of port-au-prince to when area the government tells us they are preparing the first massive tent city for refugees. we have seen no sign of it, no preparation at all. instead, we found this. this is reconstruction, haitian- style. with nothing but an old knife
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and scraps of metal, they are starting to build a village. >> we are sleeping in the ground. >> do you have a shelter? >> no. we have nothing. >> further up the hill, a woman shows me that tiny shack where she is living with seven children. nearby, we found a woman whose leg was crushed in the earthquake and had to be amputated. she tells me she has absolutely no medicine and has not eaten anything in four days. despite the massive response of the outside world, these people are still waiting for help. for 1 million haitians, tonight will be another spent in the open. bbc news in haiti. >> you are watching "bbc world
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news." we take a tour of a beijing attraction with a built-in twist. >> almost everything is made of chocolate, even the bmw car. 80,000 kilograms of the finest belgian chocolate makes this happen. >> hamas has blamed israel for the death of one of their founders of the military wing, mahmoud al-mabhouh, killed nine days ago in dubai. police believe a criminal gang was involved. our correspondent in damascus has the story. >> the coffin of mahmoud al- mabhouh is carried on the shoulders of angry supporters. he was a founder of the military wing of hamas.
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at this mosque, hamas members and palestinians will live here, prey on his ul, an amount -- and announce him a martyr. he was killed by advanced technical means. the government would not comment. the brigade has carried out hundreds of attacks and suicide bombings targeting israeli -- is real -- israelis. hundreds of mourners have marched with the coffin of mahmoud al-mabhouh to be buried here. they're having their prayers in this tent behind me. at the gravesite, people prayed for him and insisted hamas would retaliate. in the morning, and message of warning has come. >> how will hamas going to response?
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the main response is to continue [unintelligible] >> the leader of hamas is also morning. there is engagement between the palestinians and israel. this marks an escalating conflict. bbc news, the mosques -- damascus. >> the former british prime minister has told an official inquiry into the iraq war that he has no regrets about his decision to remove saddam hussein. the haitian government desperately needs to hundred thousand tents to house -- 200,000 tents to house the refugees from the earthquake. the taliban government is wearing suicide vests in the capital of the southern afghan
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promise in -- province. dave shep -- they exchanged fire with the nato forces during a shootout. six people reported killed. we report from kabul. >> what should have been a busy street quickly turned to a battleground. another well organized taliban assault in one of the city's, designed to create chaos and undermine security in spectacular fashion. fighters took a position on this building, close to the office of the governor. they traded gunfire with security forces. this policeman said the building had been surrounded from both the ground and the air. the fighting was to last for hours. this all came a day after president thomas karzai called for talks with the taliban at a conference in london. he unveiled a plan to win over
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foot soldiers. talking to the insurgents is an idea that is gaining ground as a way to end conflict. president karzai's election -- opponent has announced support. >> i do think we need to reach out the people. we need to do that province by province, locality by locality, and see if there are willing -- if there are people willing to join us. they do not believe in democratic process. >> from behind the scenes, it appears as if contact has been made. a western official told us the u.n. special on boy to the country has had secret talks with a representative from the taliban leadership. they refuse to confirm whether any discussions have taken place. while the afghan government has been publicly reaching out to
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the taliban, it is not clear what the movement will do. it seems unlikely the taliban leadership will engage in talks any time soon. continuing to lead an insurgency, it is growing in strength the year by year. bbc news. >> russia carried out the first test flight of a new generation of fighter aircraft, the potential rival to the most modern ones used by the u.s. air force. the t-50 is the first developed by russian manufacturers since the collapse of the soviet union, designed to be invisible to radar and capable of attacking multiple targets on the air and on the ground. our correspondent response from moscow. >> the t-50, unveiled for the first time, being developed in total secrecy for decades. this is the first flight of the
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stealth fighter plane. it lasted almost 50 minutes, and apparely, all went well. the head of the company that built the plane said it had been a big success. it was an important step for the country's military aviation industry. the russians want to compete with this, the latest american fighter aircraft, the at-22, also a fifth generation plane. for moscow, it is not just about matching the americans military. experts here say russia's developed the new plane partly to boost arms exports. >> i think the market would welcome russian aircraft simply due to the fact that there are
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only two aircraft, the american and the russian one. it would simply be a non-u.s. offer. >> russia's new fighter will probably not be available to many -- for many years. this is just a prototype. much work remains to be done. when this does finally enter service, it will represent a great leap foard for the russian air force, which has not seen anything like it for around 30 years. no wonder russia's military and political leaders are so delighted today's maiden flight. bbc news, moscow. >> the high court in nigeria ruled the president who has been out of the country is receiving medical treatment for more than two months is not obliged to hand over power to his vice president.
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there are legal challenges concerning the presidency. the u.s. admistration is considering moving the tial of the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks out of new york city. mayor michael bloomberg asked the attorney gener not to hold it in manhattan, citing cost and disruption. a finnish ferry with around 850 passengers on board was trapped for few hours. it was on its way from helsinki when it got trapped in ice off the coast. the operator blamed the exceptionally harsh winter weather conditions. as theme-park ago, this is daring to be different. it aims to be so -- it aims to bring sweetness and enjoyment to customers. in this case, quite literally. the chocolate wonderland has opened in beijing. it is spread over 20,000 square meters. at the grand opening, our correspondent was given a tour behind the scenes.
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>> it is the great wall of china made entirely from the finest belgian chocolate, the richest in the world. they use it to stick them together, white chocolate. this is the first entirely chocolate theme park here in china. that wall is entirely edible and it will be eaten brick by brick as part of this show by 500 lucky people whose names will be drawn out of a cap. -- out of a hat. there was a fanfare of a fashion show with costumes made of chocolate. chefs have been making creations out of chocolate. the handbags are chocolate. this entire hall is temperature- controlled so the display does not melt. the sushi is chocolate. it has taken two years to put the whole thing together. it is amazing when you see the amount of detail in the sculptures. it is a serious point to thi
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exhibition, too. the organizers are bringing talk to china at a time when the country is developing the consumer market. people are developing a taste for what is consumed in the west and chocolate is no exception. consumption is taking off. people are starting to what fine chocolate imported from abroad. >> we do normally in europe, france, spain. it takes 20, 30 years to change the taste. in china, it did not take that long. >> the chocolate warriors on show could herald an army of chocolate consumers. compared to thousands of years of history, chocolate is a brand new phenomenon.
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the potential for chocolate sales here is enormous. ->> just before we wrap up this half-hour, the former british prime minister tony blair told the official inquiry that removing saddam hussein was the right thing to do and he would take the same decision again. you can stay up-to-date with our top stories on the website, bbc.com/news. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. the newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its financial strength to work for
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a wide range of companies from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> i'm julia stiles. >> i'm kevin bacon. >> i'm kim cattrall. >> hi, i'm ken burns. i'm lili taylor. >> i'm henry louis gates, jr., and public broadcasting is my source for news about the world. >> for intelligent conversation. >> for election coverage you can count on. >> for conversations beyond the sound bites. >> a commitment to journalism. >> for deciding who to vote for. >> i'm kerry washington, and public broadcasting is my source for intelligent connections to my community. >> "bbc world news" was presented by k
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